violence affect children?
doesn't want to admit it, but numerous studies have shown that children become
more aggressive, angry and even sometimes violent when they are exposed to
television violence and the results are seen almost immediately. Children's
minds are very impressionable and they learn by modeling the behaviors of those
around them. Think of a baby learning to talk. The baby learns to talk by
copying first sounds, then words and phrases and finally sentences. Children
learn just about everything from watching the world around them and that
includes what they watch on TV.
If they are watching television programs where violence is shown as the answer
to every problem, they are more likely to react with anger, aggression and
violence to the circumstances in real life. This is a very unhealthy pattern to
begin as a child. Children need to be shown the proper way to deal with anger
both in real life and on television. Many of the old-fashioned television
programs did an excellent job of this. The main character almost always faces
some sort of crises, makes the wrong choice and has to learn a lesson from it.
Often the end of each program showed the parents talking to the child about how
they could've handled the problem differently.
Does this mean that we should never let our children watch any programs with
violence? It is something to consider, to be sure, but depending on their
content and message, watching some of these programs together may provide the
opportunity to talk about dealing with anger in more constructive ways. Having
the opportunity to evaluate why the characters behaved the way they did and what
the outcome could've been if they had made better choices may help your child to
deal with angry feelings more effectively.
Television violence certainly affects children, but maybe not as much as our own
behavior. Even more important than what our children are watching on TV is what
they are watching in our own homes. It is important to model good behavior,
including being able to admit when you are wrong and apologizing. Never expect a
child to do something you don't teach them to do through your actions. Actions
not only speak louder than words, they teach far more effectively as well.
Letting good behavior rule both in real life and on the television set will
greatly increase your child's ability to handle themselves appropriately.
Studies have definitely taught us that television violence affects our children.
How much is too much? Certainly children should never watch violent programs
that are intended for adults. Most of the time adults would be better off not
watching them either, but the violence is too real and can cause not only
aggressive and violent behavior, but depression and anxiety as well. Even
children's programs that focus on violence, such as Power Rangers, should be
monitored and viewed with caution. If your child acts out after watching these
programs, that is a good sign that they shouldn't be watching them. Common sense
needs to be the guide, but take the time to be aware of the connection between
television violence and anger problems and using opportunities to communicate
with your child can make all the difference.
About the Author:
Ray Subs is a public relations consultant working to promote the Help Your Child
with Anger Blog. For more information about dealing with anger management in
visit the blog
Licensed Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate
(Health and Geriatric Psychologist)
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